Help me carve off the prose

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Help me carve off the prose

Post  dennis20 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:48 am

I want this to be effective but not so much story.  Where can I cut and still show the picture?
 
Cherokee: To New Lands

 

Feather-of-the-dawn rose quickly

from the leaves, picked up her baby,

stumbled on before the guard spoke.

 

A weary mind could hardly imagine

many more miles.  Seven hundred

they had walked and  more months

than she could remember since leaving

home along the creek.

 

The great river lay far behind

as they walked weary mile after mile

toward “the territory” white man gave them.

She must believe it would be a better place,

 

that it would have rivers with fish,

that it would have deer for hunters,

and room for Walking Feather,

a grandson of a Cherokee chief,

 

to grow strong, to learn white ways—

to survive.  She must get him there.

Four summers now, he seldom cries.

He grows like corn in the sunlight.

 

Soon the column will stop for the day

and she can get her ration of corn

and water—no milk for Walking Feather—

he can have some of her ration

so he will stay strong.  He mustn’t die,

 

not like Bowing Willow’s son, and

Morning Dove’s son, and Chinna’s son,

and twins of Palia who also grows pale

and travels on a travois.

 

Joy!  Word has come.  In two days

they will reach this land called “territory”.

Soldiers say it is green unlike here.

Feather-of-the-dawn can’t believe

it can change from dry barren land

they have passed through, but she must.

 

Her prayers tonight of thanksgiving

rise on wings as evening birds

sing whip-poor-will to the moon.

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CARVING OUT THE PROSE

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:52 pm

WOW!  Great story... TRAIL OF TEARS... Dennis, the story becomes a poem here when you focus on mother, child, journey and save terrain and other people for some other poem...as if I knew what I was talking about... your use of descriptors touchs me and I hear the drums of dusty feet...  I am bothered by the several shifts of person.  Take another look at element, please.  My visit to PEA RIDGE on the Trail burned a "forever" image for me.  Hang in there with this piece.  It has great potential.  Dewell

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I have HACKED in and cut much

Post  tsukany on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:48 pm

Dennis,

As is my custom, I break things so you can see them with new eyes.  Hope you don't mind Smile

Cherokee: To New Lands 

He mustn’t die,
not like Bowing Willow’s son, and
Morning Dove’s son, and Chinna’s son,
and twins of Palia and . . .

Feather-of-the-Dawn rose quickly
from the leaves, picked up her baby,
stumbled on before the guard spoke. 

The great river lay far behind 
as they walked weary mile after mile
toward “the territory” white man gave them.

It would be a better place,
have rivers with fish,
have deer for hunters,
and room for Walking Feather, 
grandson of a Cherokee chief,
to grow strong, to learn White ways.

She must get him there.
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Trail of Tears. . . . obviously

Post  Pat on Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:13 pm

I like what Todd did with it.  He kept the essentials.  Note that the beginning and ending are powerful and goal oriented.  I'd probably go with repetition in stanza 1:  not like. . . , not like. . . . Last stanza:  are there rivers without fish?  I like the urgency of getting him there.  In passing of time, might want to use moons.  maybe "the" grandson" in next to last stanza.    I like the story.  Different angle.    Good job.  Pat

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Carving to bone

Post  dennis20 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:11 pm

Yes, I see.  This would pare it down to bare bones to cut fat.  Looks good. Thanks

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